A damp, moody day…but the colours in the garden are singing.
I finally made my way back to southern Ontario, Toronto in fact, after moving to the west coast 3 years ago. What better time than the fall to be in Ontario. Of course, I was hit with unusual 30+ degree (C) weather and massive humidity for over a week. Talk about limp!! But the last few days the weather swung around to be more seasonal and I managed to make my way down to the Harbourfront Promenade on Lake Ontario to check out the Music Garden. Co-designed by landscape architect Julie Moir Messervy and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the garden celebrates the dance movements in Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G major for unaccompanied cello. It’s wonderful to listen to the suite before, during, or after viewing the garden.
The garden is divided into 6 sections, each corresponding to the suite’s 5 dance movements.
The Prelude is first, a curving river scape that was large and hard to capture with my mobile phone. Canadian Shield granite boulders curve around paths and low growing plants within a circle of native Celtis Occidentalis (Hackberry) trees.
Then, Italian and French Courante. My favourite part of the garden. Celebrating exuberance and lightness, a spiral path climbs through sun drenched asters, butterflies and grasses, culminating at a maypole in the centre designed by Anne Roberts.
Next, Spanish Sarabande. I didn’t manage to get a good photo of this one. The circle of towering pine trees created deep shadows. The flat rock in the middle with a small reflecting pool was a little flooded that day making photo opportunities a little too damp.
Next up was Minuets, this French dance is interpreted with formal symmetry. A central wrought iron Music Pavilion designed by Tom Tollefson hosts concerts during the warmer months.
And finally, Gigue, an English jig. Giant stone steps lead down from the Music Pavilion to a grassy amphitheatre in the shade of a Weeping Willow.
All told, a wonderful experience on a beautiful autumn day in downtown waterfront Toronto. Be sure to listen to Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach’s suite as you go!
I think my all time favourite plants are hydrangea. We have a lovely tree form paniculata. And a NoID blue. (Oops..addendum…Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Ayesha’. Thanx Plant Ident!!). While the 9 annabelles I planted up the slope last fall got severely munched by deer ( while we were in between dogs!) and have few and far between blooms this year I have every faith that we’ll get a luscious display next year (with the enthusiastic help of Breeze…our new and anti-deer black lab x.)
Suddenly, the heat is gone, the air is cool, the days are shorter, the light is softer….September….welcome!! What’s blooming? At first glance…not so much. But close-up…a lot is still going on.
It’s been hot as Hades here on the usually mellow west coast. Temps have been hitting above 30 degrees (Celsius) all week. There’s a titch of smoke/haze in the air from the wild fires raging in the interior of BC. But the blooms just keep on coming. Time to just sit down, relax and enjoy the heat. And pray for rain over those fires.